Sometimes it’s a personality trait that dogs have their entire lives, and sometimes it’s a relatively new development. Before we give you some pointers on how to help your picky eater, there are some things to investigate:
1. Be sure there are no underlying medical issues. Consult your veterinarian about your dog’s picky behavior, especially if there is vomiting and/or diarrhea or any other signs of illness present, weight loss, or if the problem has developed suddenly.
2. Check out the food you’re feeding your pet. Is it high quality and nutritious? Does it contain wholesome protein sources instead of cheap non-nutritive fillers? It’s only natural for a dog to reject inferior food. (It would be like a human eating very low-grade microwave dinners for every meal—eventually they’ll get sick of it.) Also, check to ensure that food has not gone stale or rancid as this can also put off your dog’s appetite.
3. Do you rotate foods? Many veterinarians recommend feeding only one type of food. Changing your pet’s food can create a finicky appetite when he thinks there may be something tastier coming if he doesn’t eat. New foods can also cause stomach upset and diarrhea which can discourage eating.
4. Is there anything affecting his appetite for meals? Is your dog stealing food from another pet or trash can? Could a family member be slipping him extra treats or table scraps between meals? Anything that cuts down on his appetite at dinner time can affect whether he eats his regular food.
Surprisingly, how you respond to your dog’s finicky eating habits can either help make them or break them. If your pet has become a picky eater and you have a suspicion that something just isn’t the same… call us and we’ll be happy to help figure out if there is something more serious to be concerned with!